Rodent Threats Facing Florida Homes in Fall
Florida—the state of eternal warmth and scattered rain storms. While fall does bring the temperature down a bit, we still get to enjoy sunny days and comfortable temperatures. As we bask in the 60 to 70-degree weather rather than the scorching heat that summer brings, winter is drawing ever closer. Rodents of all types are desperately searching for a place that provides food and shelter before the heat they are used to drops to as low as 40 degrees. Whether they are big, small, quiet, or loud, you don’t want them inside your home. Rodents of all shapes and sizes are scoping out the field of “available” homes, but here are the most common ones you should worry about.
Roof Rats and Norway Rats
Large, dark, and sporting a disheveled appearance, Norway rats are the perfect example of the picture people think of when they hear the word “rat.” These rats are typically very dark in color, with a deep brown pelt that is speckled with flecks of black hair, and a lighter gray underbelly to contrast their dark faces. They can grow to be about 18.5 inches in total length. With small ears, blunt nose, and beady eyes to match, Norway rats are a pest straight out of your worst nightmare.
Roof rats are often mistaken for Norway rats because of their similarity when it comes to body length and color. While it is true that roof rats have dark brown bodies and grayish-white underbellies that make them look like their larger cousins, what sets them apart from Norway rats is that their noses are more pointed and they have larger ears. In addition, roof rats tend to be slimmer and smaller than Norway rats in order to accommodate their tendency to climb and jump while attempting to reach their desired nesting location. Roof rats are considerably smaller when it comes to body length, only reaching 8 inches, not including their tails. Their tails can add an additional 7 to 10 inches, and are often as long or longer than their bodies for added balancing ability.
House mice are much, much smaller than both the other rodents previously discussed, but they are still not a pest you want invading your home. These small creatures are usually a light, speckled brown, with a light tan or white underbelly and a pink nose, ears, and feet. Their total body length is only about 8 inches, with their tail making up about four of those inches. With their tiny bodies, they can squeeze through the tiniest spaces to get into your home, making them among the most annoying of house rodents.
Each and every one of these rodents can cause major problems in your home, including, but not limited to:
- Gnawing on furniture, piping, wooden structures, and electrical wires
- Causing power outages or even fires due to the destruction they can cause on major wiring systems
- Starting or worsening leaks by gnawing through piping
- Carrying other parasitic pests into your home (i.e. fleas and ticks)
- Bringing diseases and bacteria in on their feet, pelts, feces, and saliva
- Ripping up insolation, cushions, and clothing for their nests
Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice have several locations they prefer to sneak in through. Mice, being the smallest, can wiggle themselves into your home through cracks in your foundation as small as a nickel. Rips in window screens, dislodged shingles, and cracks in the exterior of your home provide a way for all three of these rodents to enter and make themselves comfortable—and often these things go unnoticed, meaning you might have a rodent infestation without even knowing it!
That’s why calling a professional from Keller’s Pest Control as soon as you suspect you have a problem is essential. Here at Keller’s, we have 20 years of experience dealing with, and solving, rodent issues for both homeowners and business owners alike. One of our specialties is ridding your home or business of rodent pests through humane trapping services, ensuring that they leave you and your family alone and are released in an area they won’t bother anyone else. Contact Keller’s Pest Control today to learn more about all the services we offer.